Theodore Tso wrote:
To quote from Christian Huitema's, "Network Protocols and Standards"
as to what happened:
We thought that our wording was very careful, and we were
prepared to discuss it and try to convince the Internet
The IAB had no right to make such a
decision alone. Besides, CLNP was a pale imitation of IP.
This wasn't about careful wording or reporters getting ahold of the story.
was about a premature and preemptive decision by the IAB.
The nature of the need for a revision to IP had been under consideration by an
assigned committee, for some time. The discussion about possible solutions had
had almost no discussion at all.
In fact, CLNP was a serious candidate. While some folk rejected it because of
its ISO genes, that wasn't much of a focus at the time. Of more concern was
significant lack of large scale experience with it. That made the question
of a classic make-vs-buy issue. Could the IETF satisfy the needs of expanded
address space with a small change to IPv4?
Engineering Task Force (IETF). The incident triggered a serious
reorganization of the whole IETF decision process, revising the
role of managing bodies such as the Internet Engineering Steering
Group (IESG) or the Internet Architecture Board, the new
appellation of the IAB.
A phrase like "serious reorganization" leads folk to miss how small the changes
were, structurally. The existing structure of the IETF was retained. From the
standpoint of organization structure, the changes were minimal, although of
course they had huge impact.
There were only two changes:
1. Decisions previously made by the IAB would now be made by the IESG
2. A formal and independent selection process for the IAB and IESG would be
The IAB was retained but careful to avoid anything that looked like an attempt
to exercise power. Over time, if found very useful tasks for itself.
The question, today, seems to be whether it is moving too far into an exercise
of powers it ought not to have. This isn't anything like the Boston Tea Party
situation -- the organizational change was made at the IETF in Danville,
the offending decision was made in Kobe Japan -- since it is incremental and is
clearly being reviewed as things change.
The discussion taking place on this list would either not have taken place or
would have been an exercise in futility. (I suppose it still might be, but for
At the time, there was a feeling that the IAB was "out of touch", and
Working group could go through their entire process of developing a
specification and consensus around it, only to have the IAB reject it out of
At least for the years when I was on Nomcom, the
IAB did not request access to any of the questionaires or comments
from the community; all we provided was 2-3 paragraphs describing some
of the concerns and summarizing at a high level what the concerns
which drove us to replace an incumbent and why we chose a particular
It seems that since then, the IAB has been more assertive about
wanting more information, and I really think we need to consider where
the line is between performing due diligence and "redoing the work of
Right. The current discussion should try to specify what exactly the
and requirements for a confirming body are and what input is reasonable for
I'm not sure it was 90/10 consensus; at least in this recent
discussion, there certainly have been a rather wide range of opinions
on this list, from people like Mike St. John's with one view, and
Steve Kent with another.
There is a wide range of opinion in our community, for pretty much any topic.
That's one of the reasons we do not require unanimity.
Saying that there was a 90% consensus is a very different datum. The IETF tends
to let a few noisy folk veto rough consensus.
While such folk sometime have concerns that are useful to address, trying to
attend to those concerns is a different task from insisting that the concerns be
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